With the COVID-19 outbreak, many plans were put on hold, and sports were no exception. During this year, 45 MLB games were postponed for COVID-19 related reasons, but just two were not made up. The entire series was played on artificial turf for the first time since 1993. Meanwhile, the NFL is restricting contact even among team members outside of the facilities.
The Social Distancing & Health Measures
Before the baseball season started in the New York and New Jersey area, teams received an extensive manual outlining health and safety measures, including testing players and personnel multiple times a week. Mandatory masks were required for managers, coaches, and bench staff, and players sat in the stands, properly separated, during games.
Temperature checks and symptom analysis would take place every day, and lockers would follow social distancing guidelines. If anyone tested positive, quarantine was required for all affected players. The MLB fans were affected as well, as the land-based Sportsbooks were shut down, fans were only able to place their bets at any of the 20 + legal online sports betting sites in NJ or any state with approved online sports gambling.
For the first time, there weren’t fans in the stands during the regular season, and sometimes, stadiums placed cardboard cutouts on the seats to make it look less awkward for fans watching from home.
How Much Money Was Lost With Limited Ticket Sales
The Globe Life Field’s capacity is 40,300 people, but MLB capped ticket sales to 11,500 to attend the 2020 National League Championship Series and World Series games. The tickets sold out in approximately 90 minutes.
The attendance for the six-game series was 69,000 instead of a possible sellout of 240,800. And, the average price per ticket was $1,329 according to Ticket IQ; as a result, ticket revenue was down $229,651,200.
As for football, the NY Giants allowed season ticket holders to skip 2020 games, with no effects on their status. They also stated they would refund season tickets or apply payment to 2021 season tickets instead.
It Was Better Than Expected
In total, Major League Baseball lost approximately $3.1 billion for the season, but it’s actually good news since owners expected to lose more money when the COVID-19 outbreak started. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, projected that baseball would have lost $4 billion if the 2020 season was canceled entirely.
No Traditional Post-Game Celebrations This Year
The traditional post-game victory celebrations were prohibited. The Giants, who have a good chance of winning the NFC playoffs, won’t be able to celebrate any wins in full force with their devoted fans, and the MLB has also prohibited any World Series celebrations. Our local teams will have to settle for hearing the cheers on social media and celebrating virtually or in small gatherings.